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What Are the Requirements to File for Divorce in California?

Posted on in Divorce

Los Gatos, CA divorce lawyer grounds for dissolution of marriageChoosing to end your marriage is never an emotionally easy process. Unfortunately, if you are unaware of the divorce laws in your state, the logistical process of dissolving your marriage can be difficult as well. Here in the state of California, you will want to understand the requirements that must be met and the process you will need to follow. If you are considering filing for divorce, you will want to seek out the guidance of an experienced family law attorney. 

Filing For Divorce 

In order to file for divorce in California, you must first make sure that you are eligible to do so. One of the simplest issues that can arise in California divorces is the requirement that one of the parties must be a California resident for a minimum of six months, and one party must have lived in the county where the divorce will be filed for at least three months. Once those residency requirements have been met, either spouse can file a petition for divorce at their local court. 

In many states, a person who files for divorce must cite certain “grounds,” or reasons that they wish to dissolve their marriage. Depending on state laws, these may include infidelity, drug or alcohol abuse, a felony conviction, or one spouse infecting the other with a sexually transmitted disease. The state of California, however, recognizes what is called “no fault” divorce. This means that spouses may file for divorce on the grounds of “irreconcilable differences,” and they simply need to state that these differences have caused an irremediable breakdown of the marriage. The only other grounds for divorce recognized in California are a permanent legal incapacity by one spouse to make decisions. In these cases, a spouse must provide proof of permanent physical or mental impairment or disability, including testimony from a medical or psychiatric professional.

Depending on whether your divorce is contested and the complexity of the issues that need to be resolved, the process can take a significant amount of time to complete. However, if you meet certain requirements, you may be able to receive a “summary dissolution” and complete your divorce with minimal complications. You can receive a summary dissolution if you have been married for less than five years, do not have any children together, do not own any real estate property, and have less than $45,000 of community property and less than $6,000 of marital debt. You must also agree that neither spouse will receive spousal support, and the two of you will need to reach an agreement about property division

Contact a Los Gatos, CA Divorce Lawyer

Regardless of whether you expect your divorce to be simple or complex, it is always important to work with a skilled divorce lawyer. Attorney Benita Ventresca is here to assist you in addressing the legal issues involved in ending your marriage and reaching a resolution that will meet your needs. To schedule your free initial consultation with our Los Gatos family law attorney, call our office today at 408-395-8822. 


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Los Gatos, CA 95030

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